Friday, July 13, 2012

cool beans

With all the current research about the benefits of a plant based diets the question of protein is a big one. 

What is protein and why is it so important?
Proteins are building blocks, they are what allow children to grow or athletes gain strength. The average adult requires approximately 10 percent of their diet to consist of protein. 

Protein only becomes a problem when it is consumed in excess, and even more so when it is largely animal based. In short, excess protein interferes with the absorption of calcium and minerals, and can cause serious illness over time. Beans/legumes are not linked to these heath risks. 

What are the heath benefits of beans?
Beans are high in protein and low in fat. They are a great source of soluble fiber which helps remove harmful cholesterol from your body before it’s absorbed. Incorporating beans into your diet can help lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk for heart disease, heart attacks, and breast & prostate cancer. 

Why consider buying your beans dried and not canned?
The ingredients in most commercially canned beans is pretty basic: water, beans, and salt. Most brands also contain calcium chloride as a firming agent, and unfortunately many brands also include sugar. With the exception of Eden Organics, all companies use BPA in the lining of their cans. 
Using dried beans not only allows you to control the ingredients that go into your beans but you can save you money. You can find canned black beans for as low as .60/can, but dried black beans are even cheaper than this. Dried black beans can be found for .90/lb and one pound of dried beans equals about six cups of cooked beans. Six cups for only one dollar!
Lastly, if we’re debating quality, canned beans cannot even begin to compare with the flavor and texture you get from cooking them from scratch. 

In case you are convinced to make the switch, here is an easy recipe for cooking beans. I typically double it and freeze half so I always have some on hand.  

how to prepare dried beans: 
1 cup dried beans of choice (yields 2 1/4 cups cooked beans)
Pinch of sea salt

Sort through dry legumes and remove any dirt or pebbles. Place legumes in pot with 3 cups water and soak overnight. Drain, rinse and return to pot with 3 cups fresh water. Cover pot and bring it to boil. Skim off foam and reduce heat to simmer. Add salt and cover and cook until beans are tender. This should take about 50 minutes. Drain remaining liquid and store cooked legumes in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. 


  1. awesome! How long do they stay fresh in the fridge?

  2. great question blog buddy! they will stay good up to four days in the fridge or six months in the freezer.

  3. I never thought to freeze:) glad I found your blog! -paula vb